Saint Slumber’s Joshua Perna chats “YOUTH //2”, their time with Young Rising Sons and their approach to the band!

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The last month has been a bit of a blur in a great way. I was able to sit down with so many talented gems and it felt like I was at shows sometimes four nights in a row. One band that stood out in the group though was Saint Slumber who took the stage at Great Scott last month when they were on the road with Young Rising Sons. A matter of minutes before the band took the stage, we’re talking about fifteen minutes, vocalist Joshua Perna joined me on the Great Scott patio to chat everything from releasing a trilogy of EP’s as their first releases as well as the development of the band.

The group has been writing together for years but only released their first EP “YOUTH//1” which was quickly followed by the aptly named “YOUTH//2″ with the trilogy being completed in Spring of next year. Perna discussed how the shows have been going for the run that was being completed that night to how the band has taken self control of how they want to do this project. Find our chat below and peep their latest single, ‘Fever’, that was released November 2nd!

You’re on this run, you did most of the dates I believe everything but Toronto. This is the last of it. How have these shows been going for Saint Slumber?
Shows have been phenomenal. We really, really get along with these guys sonically and interpersonally. We’ve been having such a blast, the crowds have been fantastic every night. It’s been such a good energy. Young Rising Sons has a very dedicated core fan base and the energy that they’re bringing for them has translated to us. They’ve been very gracious and accepting of us. It’s been really great.

Perfect, and then for you obviously, the first music only came out last year but you just released the second EP too. Maybe for this run, planning these sets, was it all the new? I know the band is still relatively new in releasing music? You’re the only act out with them I’m sure you get a pretty sizeable set.
Yeah so luckily, we have just enough music to play most of it. We only cut a couple of songs. So it’s a little bit of the old, a little bit of the new. Then one or two unreleased. We like to kind of pepper a little bit of the unreleased stuff in there as well. So we’re in a nice phase where we don’t have to do too much picking. We don’t have to par anything down because we only have ten songs out right now. So that’s just about 45 minutes of music. So it translates well live.

Then maybe these songs, like we said, you only released the first physical music last year. How long have these songs kind of been in the making? Were these songs that are on the second EP written around the same time, were they written fresh?
It was like a gradient. So two of the songs on the new record were written in the session of the first and some of these songs have been bouncing around for four or five years. Like long before this (Saint Slumber) was a band. It’s just music that we kind of just had and were developing. So it’s definitely very fluid. It all is sonically similar but just because of when the sessions were recorded, there’s differentiations between them. I’d like to think that it tells a very steady but consistent story between record one to record two.

Perfect then there’s so much talk about natural progression. A slow release plan of music lately for a lot of artists. How does the band go about the writing process? Is a full length in the future or do you think you guys will be the EP route for a little bit?
So we wanted to do a trilogy of EP’s because we love full lengths, we love being able to tell a story in a longer format, but just with the streaming era and the fact that we are so new, we didn’t want to just drop a full length. So we decided to split it into three five song EP’s. lt’s usually more of an economic thing, whether or not you’re in a place where you can record it and there is a demand for it. We’d love to put out a full length next after the trilogy is done which will be finished out next year in 2019. Hopefully at that point, we have the infrastructure in place to do a full length. We just want to write music. We self produce so we are constantly writing. We have a large catalogue of music ready to be released. So it really just is what we’re allowed to do.

Maybe how has it been to self produce? Obviously you know sometimes you don’t have a choice but when it comes to the writing process to be able to call the shots.
So we’ve been doing this for a really long time and we went the route of going with other producers and other engineers. We ended up doing this because there’s more creative autonomy. A lot of the time, producers really impact what the final product is and whether or not people understand that. When they listen to their favorite band, they just hear the band but in reality, everything is shaped and molded by the producer. We felt a lot of time constraints and we felt a lot of creative differences so we ended up doing this out of the desire to have full creative autonomy. And it’s been phenomenal. There’s no time limits. We’re constantly writing, we’re constantly rewriting. You have time to live with songs for two weeks, two months. You can see how it ages and see what you want to tweak. We usually are tweaking records right up until before we send it out to press. So some songs can be developed for a year or more. And that is something that’s really integral to us getting the sound we want in the final mix.

Perfect, then we’re coming to the end of 2018 which is really crazy. Considering you just put out this EP, this is the last date of this little run with Young Rising Sons. Maybe some focuses or goals for these next months? I’m sure you can’t say much but maybe personal goals for the band.
What we can say is we have a new single coming out on November 2nd. We wanted to put out one more piece of music before the year wraps up because everything shuts down at holiday time. So we’re putting out a new single November 2nd, it’s called ‘Fever’. Then we’re tying up all the loose ends for ‘Youth//3′, that will be coming out in spring of 2019. So we just want to get music out and we’re trying to do it in the best way possible. We’re not trying to just vomit all this music everywhere that no one can digest. We want to space it out properly and we want to do all the appropriate marketing for all of it. So that’s what our plan is, we’re just really looking forward to music. We’re trying to tour. We’re just trying to get on stage in front of people and doing everything we can to just get music out. We’re very aggressive right now, we’re very hungry for it and we’re doing everything we can.

About Author


Colleen has been writing about music since 2009. Interviewing bands since the glory days of Warped and has continued to do so for now over fourteen years. As well as doing freelance for other publications, the love for everything rock continues today.